The Champions League qualifiers return this week with matches of note from the qualifying round two taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. There’s not the television coverage we’ll see when this competition gets going in the group stages but there are a few matches enjoying the live TV treatment, with major online bookmakers screening some games live on their desktop and mobile apps through an HD quality stream. Here are our top Celtic v Nomme Kalju betting tips.
There’s plenty to bet on too, with major bookmakers offering odds on the match winners, as well as a number of specials markets. Have your say on both teams to score, total goals, half time/full time, correct score, first goal scorer, Asian handicap and plenty more besides. Many of the most popular markets remain in place after kick-off thanks to in-play betting.
Qualification is the Aim
Some of the teams you can expect to see in action over the course of the two days of play are Olympiakos, PSV, Copenhagen, Rosenborg, AEK Athens and Red Star Belgrade. Some on the list are here having secured their passage through the first round of qualifiers, while others drop in at this stage. The teams mentioned all have dreams of playing in the money-spinning group stages but if they are to achieve that success, they must successfully work through the qualifiers with the level of opposition improving at each round.
There’s enough going on to give punters the chance to back a winning accumulator and that will be the approach of many in midweek. We aim to focus on just one match, however, sticking to the action in Glasgow where Celtic host Nomme Kalju is the opener of what will be an important double-header. The Bhoys enjoy home advantage but must make it count if they are to stand any chance of being added to the hat for round three.
Celtic take on Nomme Kalju on Wednesday evening from 7.45pm and although there’s bigger and better to come for the Scottish treble winners in this tournament, the fans will turn out and pack the Parkhead stands, aiming to cheer their team on to victory. Qualification to the group stages of the Champions League is a must for a team with The Hoops’ operating costs and that cranks up the pressure on all involved to deliver the goods at this stage.
Celtic Secure a 5-2 Aggregate Score
Celtic booked their place in the second qualifying round with a convincing win over Premier League BH champions FK Sarajevo. It was billed as a tricky tie for the Scottish pace setters, especially having to go on the road in the first leg, but they won in Sarajevo and comfortably so, taking a 3-1 lead back to Glasgow. Winning and scoring three goals away from home meant they were always going to be in charge for the second leg at Parkhead. The Hoops won that game 2-1 and that was more than enough to see them go through with a bit to spare.
Christie fired the opening goal for his team last week, hitting the net inside 26 minutes to put Celtic in a commanding position. That lead lasted them until the 63rd minute when Tatar stunned the home support with an equaliser against the run of play. A few nerves in the stands, but they were settled when McGregor scored to put the tie to bed, bulging the net on 76 minutes. A deserved win and one that helped them achieve a 5-2 aggregate score, but manager Neil Lennon had cause for concern after seeing his side leak two goals.
The gaffer made a promise to fans fourth summer signing was just days away and it was one that would help tighten up a defence that has been exposed in this competition in the past. The raided former opponents Hapoel Be’er Sheva for right back Hatem Abd Elhamed. The 28-year-old agreed terms following a £1.6m bid and the suggestions made by players and coaches in the know tell us he will shine in Scottish football. The Hoops will also hope he has what it takes to lead them to the Champions League group stages.
Play the Specials
The board are backing Neil Lennon with cash after appointing the former player as permanent manager, but they will expect results and a return on their investment. It’s a tricky time of year for the club as they must spend money to improve their chances of reaching the Champions League group stages but must weigh that up against the risk of over spending and ending in the Europa League anyway, where the prize money is greatly reduced. Everyone is under pressure, but they must ignore that and ensure a calm performance on the pitch.
Bookmakers have a home win marked up as hot favourite in this match and anyone looking to back Celtic for the win will have to make do with the 1/20 offered up by Bet365. That price will scare most off and is even too tight for the big hitters or those adding it to stacked accumulators. Thankfully, there are plenty of specials designed to catch your eye. Celtic half time/full time is available at 2/7, both teams to score will net you a handy 7/4 and, those with a bit more confidence in the locals can back Celtic -3 at even money (Bet365).
Fancy an upset? There are big prices available if choosing to oppose Celtic in the match betting. A punt on Nomme Kalju has been marked up as a 25/1 play. Attractive, but it’s unlikely to receive too much attention, even from the value hunters who enjoy playing small stakes at high returns. The draw is yours at 12/1 with both quotes taken from the Bet365 site.